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All Engagement Shoots Should Have Donuts + Coffee!

Donuts and coffee make my world go round and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. Dana Fernandez captured these cuties and their personalities to a tee – complete with a picnic full of glazed treats and hot drinks. There may not be snow on the ground (in these pics or even out my window) but this kind of coziness is getting us in the spirit of the season like no other! See it all in our Vault right here!

From the Bride-to-be… A huge part of Matt and I’s relationship has been drinking coffee, talking, and eating dessert.

On our first date, Matt took me on a picnic next to a beautiful lake in Dallas. We ate desserts and laughed, and it was the sweetest start to a relationship.

When he asked me to marry him, he set up a blanket in a park with tons of flowers, and we drank champagne and day dreamed about the future, and it was perfect.

Matt is grounded and authentic. He is constantly encouraging me, pursuing my heart, and loving me well. He is logic and numbers, while I am emotions and creativity. I love our relationship, and the way our personalities fit together (and the ways they don’t!).

When we planned our engagement shoot with Dana and Josh, I wanted to find a way to make it feel like me and Matt. Not fake or uncomfortable – just us. So we decided to have a picnic, just like our first date, just like when we got engaged.

I was actually nervous when we were getting ready for our engagement photos. But when when snuggled up on a picnic blanket with coffee in hand, it just felt like us: comfortable, safe, and right.

Matt and I fell in love with Dana and Josh’s photography right away, because it feels like art. Choosing them as our photographers was the first decision we made about our wedding. We love the images they captured at our engagement shoot!

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Photography: Dana Fernandez Photography | Hair: Blo Blow Dry Bar | Film Processing: The Find Lab | Picnic Items: Home Goods | Skirt + Top: Space 46 Boutique

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A Modern, Minimalist Barn Wedding

Let me just say, this isn’t your average barn wedding. It’s a rustic, Texas-set celebration that took a “less is more approach” for a minimalist look we absolutely love. Their venue, an all-white barn with stunning windows and natural light galore, was pretty much a photographer’s dream and you can see the results from the lens of Jessica Gold.

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Summer
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Rustic Venue
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Rustic

From the Bride…When we started planning our wedding, I knew we wanted an organic, natural and simplistic theme. We found the White Sparrow Barn and it was everything I imagined and more. Having the all-white background made the decoration process easy. It was like having a blank canvas. Not only did we go with the natural style we originally wanted, but minimal decoration was needed with a venue that gorgeous. We decided to go with neutral colors – light grey for the bridesmaids and charcoal for the groomsmen. Color was minimal with pops of pinks, wine red, and gold in the florals and of course, lots of greenery.

My favorite moment from the day was hands down our first look! We went back and forth whether being traditional or doing a first look was right for us and for our day. Looking back, we are both so glad we decided to share a first look. There is something so intimate and special with the first time you see each other on the wedding day; we wanted to have that moment just be the two of us. And I mean come on- first look’s make STUNNING pictures! We were able to have some time together before the ceremony to see each other, share happy tears, read through our vows and calm each other’s nerves. When we shared with others about our first look plans, we got the response of ‘isn’t that going to ruin the moment when you walk down the aisle?’ It totally doesn’t! In fact, it made the remainder of the evening all the more better. First looks aren’t for everyone but they are totally worth thinking about!

The most important thing we wanted for our wedding was just to enjoy the day and have time to spend together. While planning, so many people told me ‘you won’t even have time to eat your cake’ or ‘you’ll be talking to your guests instead of enjoying yourself.’ I didn’t want this! My husband and I set our priorities for our wedding day ahead of time, which turned out to be really beneficial. Our main priority was to meet with our guests at the very beginning of the reception so we could spend the remainder of the night on the dance floor with our friends and family. Our day was exactly what we made it and we wouldn’t have done it any other way.

My advice for the future bride is three things. 1. Trust your vendors. Choose vendors that match your style and let them do their part of the work! 2. Ask questions. Planning a wedding is hard work! Ask your vendors questions, even if it doesn’t pertain to their specialty. My photographer, Jessica, introduced me to vendors, helped plan the timeline of our wedding day, and joyfully answered countless emails about general wedding day questions. 3. ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY. Once your day hits, take a deep breath and know that everything is going to run smoothly. Spend time with your family, friends and most importantly, your husband. When you look back, you are only going to remember the sweet moments, the happy tears, the fun and the joy of a new marriage.

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Photography: Jessica Gold Photography | Event Planning: A Number of Things | Floral Design: Oh Deery Floral | Wedding Dress: JLM Couture, Inc | Cake: Jar Cakery | Invitations: TiedandTwo | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Hair + Makeup: Beauty And The Blush | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Venue: The White Sparrow

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A Classic Southern Affair Filled with Elegant Details

When it came time to plan their big day, (familiar faces) Ana and Tim had one goal in mind. That being? A glamorous winter wonderland that their guests would remember forever. And we’ve got to hand it to them because mission totally accomplished. From the candle-lit reception to the personalized slippers guests were given to dance the night away, Jacqui Cole Photography captured it all to share in The Vault!

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Winter
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ChurchResort
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Classic

From Jacqui Cole PhotographyYou may remember Ana and Tim from their engagement session featured here on SMP. Ana met Tim, a professional tennis player, at the Four Seasons Resort while Tim was in town for a tennis tournament. The couple wed 2 years later at the exact spot which they had fell in love.

Ana and Tim wanted to capture a glamorous winter wonderland at the Four Seasons venue. They wanted to create an evening that all of their guests would remember. The many ‘wow’ factors certainly achieved that! From a surprise mariachi band, confetti bombs, fireworks show and a late night taco stand the couple created an incredibly fun night for their family and friends. Ana said that “it was a dream come true to see our vision of an elegant, romantic, candle-lit winter wonderland come to life with all our closest family and friends. The whole day is a memory of overwhelming love and happiness”. Guests were treated to little surprises such as personalized slippers to dance the night away and a Mexican candy bar which were a ‘sweet nod’ to Ana’s heritage.

The reception decor was extraordinary, There were no details that were overlooked. From draped columns, floral covered entryways, mirrored facades, flower halos and beautiful centerpieces. Flowers draped everywhere with the focal point being the floral chandelier which hovered over the dance floor. The guests entrance was covered in stunning white flowers. The white roses were suspended from the top of the windows to make it seem like they were floating.

Ana and Tim left hand in hand under an aisle of confetti. They jetted off to Napa to enjoy their honeymoon the very next day. We wish them all the love in the world! Congratulations Mr and Mrs Smyczek!

From the Bride… After the proposal, which you can read all about here, as we began the wedding planning, the first and most important thing for us was the location and venue for our big day. We wanted to get married somewhere that was special and meaningful for us so where better than where we very first met – The Four Seasons in Dallas, which also happens to be my home town and where we got engaged! I’ve always dreamed of having an elegant and romantic wedding with a candle-lit ambiance to create an intimate and cozy feel. The time of year we got married, a chilly November day, was the perfect way to turn my wedding dream into a timeless winter wonderland.

Looking back at our wedding day, my heart is overwhelmed with countless moments but there is one moment that will stay with me forever – my Father-Daughter dance. It started with a tearful slow song and towards the end of the song, much to my fathers surprise, we transitioned to a fun Spanish song with confetti showering the entire dance floor! The confetti was such a special moment, giving my dad and I another moment to celebrate together as we opened up the dance floor for the festivities to begin!

The best advice I can give any bride-to-be would be to enjoy and cherish every moment – from the moment you say “yes!” to the moment you say “I do”. A fun tip for the big day; as Mr. and Mrs., take a moment to look around at your reception, to embrace how the vision of your big day all came together and to see all of your loved ones together in one place celebrating you!

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Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Cinematography: SoulBox Productions | Event Planning: MK Event Boutique | Floral Design: Maritza Figy | Cake: Fancy Cakes By Lauren | Ceremony Venue: Saint Monica Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Four Seasons Dallas | Hair + Makeup: Emily Mallory | Lighting: Ambiance Entertainment | DJ: Ambiance Entertainment | String Quartet: Serenata Strings | Fireworks + Confetti: Illumination Fireworks | Rentals: Bella Flora of Dallas

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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